A YouWager news source reports that the National Football League and the NFLPA, the players union, are in negotiations about testing for HGH, or Human Growth Hormone, in the 2013 NFL football betting season. The union has said it supports testing, but has problems with the appeals process. As most informed YouWager bettors know, supplemental HGH is hard to detect and has been used by many athletes for a variety of reasons. It is believed to improve vision and increase speed.
Taking things to improve performance may be seen as a huge problem by sportsbook bettors these days, but it’s really nothing new. YouWager’s resident historian points out some of the more notable times that athletes that got caught.
Several athletes were clients of Biogenesis, a Miami pharmaceutical lab suspected of supplying performance-enhancing drugs. Ryan Braun’s 65-game suspension, negotiated with Major League Baseball, is the first of many expected to come after MLB’s investigation into Biogenesis. It could eventually be one of the largest doping scandals American sports history. Braun tested positive for a synthetic testosterone, but won an appeal and avoided additional discipline.
Strychnine in the Olympics
Athletes have been experimenting with drugs to enhance performance for ages. Thomas Hicks, who won the 1904 Olympic marathon, was one of many runners to try injecting strychnine. In small doses, the highly toxic substance may act as a stimulant. It took many years before the Olympics began to regulate the use of such drugs.
We now know that for more than twenty years, East Germany had a program, run by the state, that supplied athletes with steroids. One shot putter, Andreas Krieger, got regular injections, starting when she was 16. After the fall of Communism, many East German secrets came to the surface.
Although YouWager’s sports bettors know all about Lance Armstrong, and a system that the US Anti-Doping Agency called his highly ‘sophisticated network,’ Armstrong was in no way the only cyclist using performance-enhancing drugs in the 2000’s. It may take cycling many years to recover, as a sport.
In the early 1990s, the Chinese swimming team suddenly dominated the sport. In 1998, a swimmer was caught with enough human growth hormone discovered in a suitcase to supply the entire team. China immediately promised to run a clean swimming program.
Also known as the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative, this company was a heavily involved in a scandal around a drug that was very difficult to detect. YouWager bettors will remember Barry Bonds as the most famous athlete connected to BALCO. However, BALCO’s influence extended to the Olympics, the NFL, boxing, and many other sports.
The U.S. Track & Field team
In 2003, a physician, Dr. Wade Exum, revealed that 19 athletes had failed several drug tests but were allowed to compete in the Olympics from 1988 to 2000. The athletes on this list included Carl Edwards and Jerome Young. The United States Olympic Committee turned to the new U.S. Anti-Doping Agency for help.
The Festina case
In 1998, Richard Virenque, a driver for the Festina cycling team, was apprehended when he attempted to smuggle an entire car full of performance-enhancing drugs. Every cyclist on the team would eventually admit to doping, and face some form of suspension.
The Dirtiest Race
In 1988, at the Seoul Olympics, Ben Johnson from Canada ran the fastest 100-meter time in history, at 9.79 seconds. But officials soon discovered Johnson had been taking steroids, and they took his medal away. Carl Lewis, the second-place runner, had failed drug tests earlier. Out of the top five runners, bronze medalist Calvin Smith was the only one that had not failed drug test.
The Mitchell Report
In December of 2007, Senator George Mitchell released information that surfaced during a two-year investigation into anabolic steroids and performance-enhancing drugs in major league baseball. The 400-page report named 89 current or former players suspected of using steroids. YouWager‘s MLB betting fans won’t be surprised to hear that this list included Roger Clemens.